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One of your best customers calls with a special request. They have a job that they need completed as soon as possible. Their project is already behind schedule, and they need a particular product to move forward. If you can finish the job, you’d be doing them a big favor, and they would likely remember that in the future. But can your schedule handle it? Shop floor scheduling software can help answer that question.
Your initial instinct may be to say yes and accept the job. You would strengthen your relationship with the customer, retaining their business and perhaps winning new work in the future. You also may be able to charge a higher rate, which could be a nice boost to your cash flow.
Of course, there are also good reasons why you shouldn’t take on a rush job. It could disrupt your schedule and delay other jobs. It could force you to pay overtime wages or order rush parts and materials from the vendor, increasing your costs. You could miss the deadline and damage your relationship with the customer.
Below are a few questions to consider before you accept a rush job. If you don’t have the information to answer these questions, you may want to hold off. Or to look into shop floor scheduling software in order to obtain the information you need for the next time a situation like this comes along.
This may seem like a basic question, but sometimes it’s not that easy. For example, you may assume that you have all the needed parts and materials in your inventory, but when was the last time your inventory was updated? Are you sure you have everything in stock? If not, do you have time to order parts before the deadline?
Labor is another important consideration. Can you finish the job during regular hours or will you need to pay overtime? If you need team members to work off-hours, are you sure that they’re available? Again, if you take the rush job but don’t have the labor needed to meet the deadline, it could backfire and ruin your relationship with the customer.
Shop floor scheduling software can help you manage the data you need for answers to these questions.
One of the biggest challenges with a rush job is how it can impact the rest of your work-in-progress. The rush job will likely get pushed to the front of the queue, and it may consume valuable time for individual machines or skilled workers.
Other jobs may get delayed. If too many jobs get backed up, you could have a bottleneck that disrupts your entire production process. In the worst case scenario, you could miss deadlines not only on the rush job but also for other customers.
Shop floor scheduling software can help you keep a bottleneck from ever happening.
You may be able to quote a higher-than-normal price to do the rush job. Even so, take the time to make sure that the higher price accounts for all of your costs. As mentioned, you may have to pay overtime to certain workers. You may have to order rush parts and materials from suppliers. Your price for the rush job should reflect these potential costs.
The best way to provide an accurate quote is to have detailed information about your costs readily available. You can gain access to that information by using ERP shop software. For example, Shoptech’s E2 shop software has an estimating component that stores all of your costs for parts, materials, labor, and more. When you create a quote, you can be sure that you’re using the most accurate inputs.
In fact, shop floor scheduling software can help you answer all of these questions. You can view the inputs needed to complete the rush job. You can check your real-time inventory to make sure you have parts on-hand. You can see labor availability. In E2, you can even use a what-if simulator to see how the rush job would impact your schedule.
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